At any household in the city, five days before the Diwali day, the buzz centres around the kind of fireworks to be lit on that day. But that is not the case in some of the societies, let alone the households in the city. Games and food top the discussion list instead of what crackers to save for the last day.
At Kiran Waval’s Jai Bhavani building on Mahatma Phule Road in Dadar, the residents are busy making plans for games and dinner programmes.
“No fire cracker is bursted in our society. While almost all children are off it, if a child insists, he is given a phuljadi. The idea is to we have a Diwali without the crackers,” said a society member, requesting anonymity.
Waval said instead of bursting fire crackers, his society goes for a Diwali puja and games that is followed by lunch. “Since you need to provide with some alternative for children, we have games,” he said.
Last year, the residents had organised a puja that was followed by games such as giant wheels, and merry-go-round. “This year we are making plans and most likely we will have lunch after Diwali puja,” he said.
Getting children to resist bursting of crackers is the most difficult part for any society. “Initially we did force them but soon they realised on their own. They now know why they should not burst crackers. Completely getting rid off it not just reduces the sound but air pollution,” said Raju Kamasala, a resident of Rustam Rahiwasi Sangh at Lower Parel.
While Waval and Kamasala’s society have games, Kalpesh Lodaya’s society in Mulund goes a step further. They not just have games but dance functions also, dandiya, felicitation of senior citizens among many other things.
“In our society the programme goes on for four to five hours. The women of our society make special preparations for the dance programme,” said Lodaya.
Residents said apart from decreasing the decibel level of sound and noise, the celebrations give ample of time for society members to be together.
“Another good thing is that people can meet each other,” said Lodaya. The societies make a common pool of funds for dinner they have in their complexes.